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Challenges to conserving freshwater mussels in Europe

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New research looks at the status of the 16 currently recognized freshwater mussel species in Europe, finding that information is unevenly distributed with considerable differences in data quality and quantity among countries and species.

In order to suggest future management actions, investigators from 26 countries comprehensively revised the status of the most threatened mussels in Europe, including their life-history traits, distribution, conservation status, habitat preferences, and main threats.

To make conservation more effective in the future, we suggest greater international cooperation using standardized protocols and methods to monitor and manage European freshwater mussel diversity," said Dr. Manuel Lopes-Lima, lead author of the Biological Reviews study. "Such an approach will not only help conserve this vulnerable group but also, through the protection of these important organisms, offer wider benefits to freshwater ecosystems."

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